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Introducing The Newest Research Ship In Town: The Sally Ride

The Sally Ride research vessel heads to its home port in Point Loma, Aug. 26, 2016.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
The Sally Ride research vessel heads to its home port in Point Loma, Aug. 26, 2016.

Former Astronaut Sally Ride speaks to members of the media as NASA personnel set up astronomy equipment on the South Lawn of the White House, Oct. 7, 2009.
Associated Press
Former Astronaut Sally Ride speaks to members of the media as NASA personnel set up astronomy equipment on the South Lawn of the White House, Oct. 7, 2009.

Introducing The Newest Research Ship In Town: The Sally Ride
Introducing The Newest Research Ship In Town: The Sally Ride GUESTS:Bruce Appelgate, associate director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Let's talk about that first research mission. I understand it is going to be a continuation of research that is been going on since the days of John Steinbeck. What is this mission starting? Our first real science mission will be in November of this year. We will be cooling offshore to look at the ecosystem of the California current and like you said this is a long-term research project that's been going on for more than 65 years and it is called the California fishery investigation. It is of funny program by federal and state agencies. To understand the physics and the biology that are all wrapped up in the California ecosystem. So bite understanding that you understand why things are thriving and perhaps things are not thriving off the coast. Exactly. To understand the health of our fisheries and our resources. You need to know about the environment in which they live. Considering Scripps pioneering effort on climate change. It is for to share that this chip will be involved in a number of missions exploring the effects of climate change? Certainly. Climate change is something that is important to society and humanity and everybody here. You should be interested in what's going on in the oceans and how our climate impacts not just the ocean but life on earth. So given that that is important now, I'm certain that some of the earlier research that the Sally Ride does will be involved in aspects of that. What are the types of technologies that makes this vessel cutting-edge? Bishop is outfitted with instruments that are capable of looking down into the center of the earth all the way up into the heavens. So whether it's the hydrosphere or atmosphere we do geology, biology, physics, you name it. Backed is the role utility of a vessel is that it is a mobile laboratory for the University of California. We can protect our ability to measure anywhere in the Pacific Ocean. It is a fantastic asset and extensibility of California researchers to look at problems that may have global sources but impact all of us locally. One thing I heard was in advance dynamic positioning system that basically keeps the Sally Ride in one place in the ocean and it stays put. Yes. In contrast to some votes -- both like to go fast. Vessels pride themselves in going slow and accurate. Sally Ride is outfitted with the very best technologies so that we can go out anywhere in the ocean and the thousand a miles away and we can find the same exact spot with satellite. Than using a control system on the ship and precisely navigate the ship to the length of a pickup truck so if we were looking at something 2 miles of water we could go back and find exactly . Then stay there even to very pixies and big wins, which is a testament of the maneuverability. Let's talk about the name of this vessel. Sally Ride America's first woman in space. This is apparently the only ship in the U.S. named after our women. What kind of impact you think that might have on the effort to get more women and girls into the sciences? I would hope it has a huge impact. -- Science is a fantastic career and we should encourage everybody who wants to come out and be a scientist or a Mariner or technician or anybody that is involved in the enterprise of ocean research to come out and participate. If the name of a vessel can have a impact on that, while bent that is a good thing. The first mission is not until November. What will be going on in the next two months? We are incredibly busy. The ships have here is involved in coming up with a learning curve in demonstrating to the users that are scientists and the funding agencies that we can really do that the ship was designed to do. We have a very aggressive schedule of installing and integrating equipment and testing and then bringing scientists out to sea so that they could tell us how well we are doing. The public is invited on October 30. Yes, we are very proud of this vessel. It is a beautiful ship. Ship like this comes along once every 30 or 40 years. So we would love to show it off to anybody who is interested. It will be the weekend right before Halloween. It will be down at Broadway pier and there will be a public open house date and will have scientist down there to show the ship off to everybody who want to see a. I've been speaking with Bruce Appelgate. Bruce, thank you very much. You are welcome. It has been a pleasure. Still ahead tips on getting your daily requirement of vitamin N for nature.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography has a new ship for conducting research at sea.

It's named after America's first woman in space and former UC San Diego physics professor, Sally Ride. She died in 2012.

"Her legacy is that of accomplishment and great scientific achievement — we think that's a great thing for a ship," said Bruce Appelgate, associate director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Appelgate is in charge of ship operations and marine technical support for Scripps.

RELATED: Scientists Mark 100 Years Of Recording Ocean Temp At Scripps Pier

The ship, which is the only one named after a woman in the U.S. academic research fleet, arrived at its home port in Point Loma Friday. It is owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by Scripps.

Appelgate said the the Sally Ride research vessel can be used to conduct any kind of research that scientists can think up and do at sea.

"We do everything from look to the center of the Earth to understand deep Earth geophysics to looking up at the heavens and understanding what's going on in our atmosphere and climate, and everything in between," he said.

Appelgate said, "It's almost like a very fancy and capable flat bed truck that we take out to sea that is also a floating UC laboratory."

Scripps Institution of Oceanography is a department at UC San Diego.

Appelgate said the Sally Ride research vessel aims to have as little impact as possible on its environment.

"It needs to be environmentally friendly and economical so we can get the most research value for dollars spent," Appelgate said.

The ship's first research mission in November will be part of the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation, a 65-year study to understand the California current ecosystem. The study is looking at how the environment in the current impacts the living resources off the coast.

Appelgate will join Midday Edition on Tuesday to talk about Scripps' newest research ship.

Onlookers wait for the Sally Ride research vessel to pass by the Scripps Pier on its way to its home port in Point Loma, Aug. 26, 2016.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Onlookers wait for the Sally Ride research vessel to pass by the Scripps Pier on its way to its home port in Point Loma, Aug. 26, 2016.